Healthcare: No incentive to change

Time to change concept
  • “We have a $3.4 trillion industry, which is as much as the federal government raises every year, that basically feels pretty good about the system” according to Warren Buffett.
  • Health spending rose 3.9 percent in 2017 and now makes up nearly 18 percent of American economic output.
  • As long as there is money to be made in healthcare prices are going to keep going up.
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More confusion for online health seekers

IN SUMMARY: Online health seekers are becoming more and more confused as conflicting health news seems to counteract previous reports about products like baby aspirin. The release of new and updated health information means that online health seekers have to spend more time online to peel away the layers of “hype” from the facts.

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Apple watch study is moot

  • The Apple Heart Study, conducted by Stanford University researchers and sponsored by Apple, evaluated the ability of the Apple Watch to detect atrial fibrillation, a common heart disorder also known as A-fib, in an astonishing 400,000 participants.
  • The study was not a randomized controlled trial, the gold standard of medical research.
  • It’s a purely observational study designed to see whether the Apple Watch’s heart pulse monitor can identify people who have a-fib. 
  • A leading cardiologist told me “the study is really moot and doesn’t change my views on the Apple watch for patients”
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PBMs told investors i​t would find “an alternate funding /pri​cin​g structure” to offset lost rebate dollars.

IN SUMMARY: PBMs are keeping a smaller share of rebates and passing more along to their clients. Instead, PBMs are collecting more revenue through various fees — the same shift the Trump administration envisions — and through a practice called “spread pricing,” according to a Pew analysis.

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AARP to launch drug pricing ad campaign

IN SUMMARY: Nearly three-quarters of Americans over 50 worry about being able to afford prescription drugs for themselves and their families, according to a new AARP nationwide survey. AARP’s campaign will include television ads, a strong social and digital media presence, and grassroots efforts via mail, email, and phone by AARP’s 38 million members, in order to convince lawmakers to act on drug pricing.   

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